Each Thursday, Sports Handle will recap all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlight the Game of the Week, and take a look ahead at some of the most intriguing Canadian games to bet on over the weekend.
Our top Canadian sports stories this week
- Ontario A Complex Region For Online Geolocation Technology
- Great Canadian Gaming Report Opposes Open iGaming Market In Ontario
- PointsBet Canada Announces Exclusive Partnership With Trailer Park Boys
- This Week’s Hottest NHL Bets: Oilers Defining Fade Material
Game of the week
Canadian men at the Australian Open
Reilly Opelka (-121) vs. Denis Shapovalov (-106) BCLC PlayNow
Shapovalov is off to the third round of the Australian Open tennis tournament after outlasting Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in a match that required five sets and over four hours to complete. The Richmond Hill, Ontario, native will now take on No. 23 seed Reilly Opelka. Shapovalov has never advanced past the first round of the first Grand Slam event of the season and enters as a slight underdog. The match gets underway Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Daniel Evans (-115) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (-112) BCLC PlayNow
No. 9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec, also needed over four hours and five sets to dispatch his second-round opponent, Alejandro Davidovich. He’ll now face No. 24 Daniel Evans of Great Britain, who owns a 1-0 lifetime record against the Canadian. Evans is fresh after winning his first-round match in straight sets and then getting a walkover in the second round. This matchup will get underway Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
No Canadian women are left in the singles draw after Leylah Fernandez and Rebecca Marino both lost in the first round on Tuesday.
BetMGM confirms Ontario plans
On Wed's call, @BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt indicated that both BetMGM and bwin could launch in Canada in '22. "We see this as incremental to value," Greenblatt said, indicating that both brands can thrive and operate independently. BetMGM doesn't have an exact timeline for launch pic.twitter.com/KL2HEH5C9b
— Matt Rybaltowski (@MattRybaltowski) January 19, 2022
A few other highlights from the release:
- BetMGM is now operating in 19 jurisdictions and expects to reach 40% of the adult population with the launch of two more jurisdictions in the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico and Canada.
- FY2021 revenue will be $850 million, with FY2022 revenue projections at $1.3 billion.
- The sportsbook intends to be cash flow-positive by 2023.
BetMGM launched in the state of New York on Monday and offered new customers a risk-free bet for $1,000. It’s still unclear what the bonus offer rules will be for sportsbooks expecting to launch in Ontario later this quarter.
Great Canadian Gaming Demands
A report commissioned by Great Canadian Gaming earlier this week is threatening to delay the launch of the Ontario private gaming market (story linked in above section), and the province’s largest casino operator is placing some additional demands on the Ontario government in an attempt to level the playing field between land-based and digital-only operators.
These demands include:
- No change to existing land-based tax rates and market structure.
- Initial Exclusivity Period: Allow land-based operators a 24-month exclusivity period operating iGaming, which will allow for the growth of legal iGaming jobs through an omni-channel experience without cannibalization.
- Comparable Tax Rates: iGaming revenue should be taxed at a comparable rate to land-based gaming revenue.
- Controlled Number of Licenses: After initial exclusivity, limit online sports betting licenses to provide market structure. Online casino licenses should be limited to land-based casino operators only.
- Enforcement: Real enforcement of any ongoing illegally operated gray market. Operators should be required to delete existing databases that were not legally gathered before launching legal operations.
- Limitations on Physical Offerings: Digital-only players, with low-cost structures and few employees, should not be permitted to operate with a physical presence and market or brand buildings or lounges.
- Retail Sportsbooks: Retail single-event sports wagering should be offered exclusively through land-based casinos. Land-based operators can supervise the activity to prevent minors from betting, and address concerns related to problem gambling and money laundering.
- Omni-Channel Offering & Unified Customer View: Advertising and data rules should ensure players can enjoy a coordinated online and in-person experience, and allow land-based casinos to integrate their customer experience. Omni-channel offering and convenience including single signup, shared loyalty, shared wallet, live gaming, and progressive experiences combining land-based and digital, in order to provide best-in-class entertainment, unique experiences and socially responsible service.
The Ontario government has appointed the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario to develop the legal framework for Ontario’s planned open market. The market is expected to launch sometime in Q1 of this year, but some industry sources have told Sports Handle it may be delayed.
Betting on the Olympics in Canada
Ontario’s planned open gaming market likely won’t be up and running by the time the Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4, so the only legal options for Canadian bettors to wager on the Games will be through provincial lotteries.
The majority of them will be taking an array of bets — including futures, props, and game odds — on events as long as the competitors are 19 or older.
Winter Olympics medal total outrights are already being offered at many of the online platforms, including PROLINE + in Ontario, with the odds on which country will lead the hardware tally as follows:
- Norway -400
- Germany +450
- Canada +800
- ROC +1,000
- USA +1,500
- Netherlands +4000
- Any other +4,000
Canadian sportscaster gets BetRivers podcast
Canadian sportscaster Dan O’Toole has landed a new gig with BetRivers. His new podcast, titled Boomsies!, was launched Jan. 13. It appears on the YouTube channel for BetRivers every Wednesday.
We launched a new podcast with @dangotoole and we think you're gonna love it.
— BetRivers (@BetRivers) January 12, 2022
The beloved 46-year-old broadcaster was let go by Bell Media, which owns TSN, in February after co-hosting SportsCentre With Jay and Dan from 2003 to 2013 and 2017 to 2021. The Canadian media conglomerate laid off more than 200 employees, and O’Toole was among the cuts, outraging Canadian viewers.
O’Toole’s show is still a work in progress and isn’t specifically about sports betting. He spent the first two episodes ranting about old wrestlers and cats, and debating the best burger joints in Canada. Either way, it’s great to see him back on his feet and broadcasting again.